First time Cruise to Alaska


Nov 10th, 2012, 08:57 AM
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First time Cruise to Alaska

We are interested in a cruise for ourselves 50 + 60 year old, along with our children 25 & 27. We were looking at Oceania because we'd like a smaller ship. However, it is very expensive & I think the ship will be a little too laid back for our kids. I am so confused by all the offering sso would appreciate any advice to a cruise line that is not gigantic and has great service with lots to do onboard. Any guidance is appreciated! Thanks, Karen
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Nov 10th, 2012, 01:32 PM
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We had a great time on HAL Statendam. It is a small ship and HAL is good for older people, but I think any age would be OK. Alaska cruises are less party cruises than Caribbean ones.
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Nov 10th, 2012, 02:58 PM
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I've never been to Alaska, but Celebrity might be a good option. The ships aren't small, but it's more upscale than most of the mainstream lines and not as expensive as Oceana.
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Nov 10th, 2012, 03:51 PM
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Thanks for te info. I will check out both cruise lines!
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Nov 11th, 2012, 01:28 AM
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Alaska cruises are different than most warm water cruises since for most people it is about Alaska andnot the cruise experience. For example, on our Princess Alaska cruise we were trying to find a bar open after midnight to celebrate our son's 21st birthday with him - only 1 bar open and it was closing soon. On warm water cruises we have taken, bars were packed until dawn.

As far as expense, when you look at your budget, make sure you figure in excursions - thru cruiseline or privately - at various ports, as they are really essential to seeing anything. Many of the ports are small towns with t-shirt shops and not much else. You need to get on alternate transportation to soo much of Alaska from the ports and this gets quite expensive (but worth it)
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Nov 11th, 2012, 05:20 AM
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We took our daughter and her husband on a 7 night Alaska cruise of inside passage in May. We were 64 and 67, and they were 39 and 48. We used Carnival because the cost was good. We've cruised with then several times,including a previous Alaskan cruise, and have only good things to say about them.Their inside cabins are roomier than most other cruiselines',food is very good,staff is good, attentive. I think they still have a rep. as a party cruiseline, but that is no longer the case, in our opinion anyway. It might be worth a look. Another thing we loved is they have an onboard naturalist who was constantly alerting passengers to upcoming otters, seals, whales,eagles,etc.
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Nov 11th, 2012, 07:51 PM
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For Alaskan cruise, the itenary is important. Make sure Glacier Bay is one of the stops as passage is tightly controlled by the Nation Park Services through a quota system, limiting number of ships can travel through on a daily basis.

For your age groupings, a Megaship (100,000 tonnes +) would be a better fit as you will have venues suitable for both age groups. Smaller ships equals less venue choices.

Princess would be a good choice for Alaska as they have the most ships in the area, and offer most choices and itinaries.
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Nov 12th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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I agree. We went with Princess for our Alaska cruise last year and enjoyed much more than the Caribbean cruises we have taken with them previoulsy and with Carnival. It's a whole different clientele and atmosphere.

My second choice would be Celebrity since they now offer an pre-pay alcohol package. We are considering them for a Caribbean cruise next year.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 10:04 AM
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Do consider extending your vacation to include a trip to Denali, either on your own or with the cruise line. It was the best part of our cruise to AK.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 06:05 PM
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If you want to extend with a land portion, you have to cruise "one way" and not the inside passage round trip, do it either before the cruise, or after the cruise. Our preference is post crusie.

Take the northbound from Vancouver, spend a couple days in Vancoovuer first. End teh cruise in Anchorage and book your own way to Denali and Mt McKinney. Book your own through a local comapny is less expensiuve than through the cruise ship's land tour although the cruise ship's land tour is more seamless as they look after everything.
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Nov 14th, 2012, 10:18 AM
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Holland America is my favorite cruise line -- we took the inside passage cruise on the Rotterdam about 10 years ago and it was fantastic. I don't know about young people, though. Carnival seems to appeal to a younger group -- your kids might be bored on the Rotterdam.
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